Gide, André Biography

biography of Gide, André

André Paul Guillaume Gide
22 November 1869, Paris, France
19 February 1951, Paris, France (pneumonia)
Andre Paul Guillaume Gide was born on November 22, 1869, in Paris, France. His father, named Paul Gide, was a professor of law at the University of Paris, he was a descendant from Cevennes Huhuenots. His mother, named Juliette Rondeaux, was a devoted Calvinist. He received an excellent private education at home, then at the Ecole Alsacienne. At the age of 18 Gide started writing. His first book 'Les Cahiers d'Andre Walter' (The Notebooks of Andre Walter, 1891) was well received by his friend 'Stéphane Mallarmé' (qv). In 1893 and 1894 Gide made voyages to North Africa, where he learned different moral and sexual conventions. In Algiers he met Oscar Wilde and the two became close friends. Gide's early collection of prose and poetry 'Les nourritues terrestres' (Fruits of the Earth, 1897), gained popularity, influencing 'Guillaume Apollinaire' (qv), 'Albert Camus (I)' (qv), and 'Jean-Paul Sartre' (qv), as well as a generation of young writers. His serious illness and a near-death experience there, gave him material for his "twin" psychological novels 'l'immoraliste' (The Immoralist, 1902) and 'La porte etroite' (Strait is the Gate, 1909). In dialogues between the inner narrator and the outer narrator Gide tackled the Shakesperian question, reformulated as "to be free" vs "to get freedom." In his 'La symphonie pastorale' (The Pastoral Symphony, 1919) Gide revealed the hypocrisy behind the mask of a pastor, who adopted a blind orphan girl. Pastor seduces the girl on the eve of her eye surgery; she opens her eyes only to see the ugly truth about people, then commits suicide. In 'Les faux-monnayeurs' and 'Le journal des feux-monnayeurs' (The Couterfreiters, 1926) he exposed the self-deception and counterfeit personality of the protagonist, Edouard, who falls in love with his nephew. Gide was alluding to his own relationship with his adopted son Marc Allegret, with whom he eloped to London in 1916. In 1923 Gide conceived a daughter named Catherine with his girlfriend Elisabeth van Rysselberghe. Gide's wife Madeleine died in 1938 after an unconsummated marriage. Andre Gide was an admirer of 'Fyodor Dostoevsky' (qv) from his youth. In 1923 he published a collection of his lectures on Dostoyevsky, in which he reconstitutes the writer's personality through the traits of the characters of his books. At that time Gide prepared the first public release of his 'Corydon', which was initially published privately in 1911. It received widespread condemnation, but was considered by Gide his most important work. He was praised by his friends, such as 'Marcel Proust' (qv), 'Paul Claudel' (qv), 'Paul Valéry' (qv) and others; their correspondence was published in 1948. Gide collaborated with 'Sergei Diaghilev' (qv) on a ballet production for the "Seasons Russes" in Paris. He was a regular member of 'literary Fridays' and developed a good friendship with 'Gertrude Stein' (qv). Gide briefly associated with French communists, but he repudiated the Soviet communism after his 1936 voyage to the Soviet Union. His disillusionment with the communist doctrine was expressed in his contribution to 'The God That Failed' (1949). During the Second World War he lived in Tunis. Gide was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature (1947). He died on February 19, 1951. A fine literary biography of Andre Gide was written by 'André Maurois' (qv).
Steve Shelokhonov

-   'Madeleine Rondeaux' (1895 - 1938) (her death)

-   Was awarded the 1947 Nobel prize in literature.

-   (1954) Stage: His play, "The Immoralist", was performed at the Arts Theatre Club in London, England, with 'Yvonne Mitchell (I)' (qv), 'Michael Gough (I)' (qv), 'George Howe (II)' (qv) and 'Wolfe Morris' (qv) in the cast. 'Peter Hall (I)' (qv) was director.

-   (1954) Stage: Wrote "The Immoralist", produced on Broadway. Cast: 'Geraldine Page' (qv), 'Louis Jourdan' (qv), 'James Dean (I)' (qv) (as "Young Arab").

-   George D. Painter. "André Gide: A Critical Biography". London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1968.

-   Wallace Fowlie. "André Gide: His Life and Works". New York: Macmillan, 1965.

-   Justin O'Brien. "Portrait of André Gide: A Critical Biography". McGraw-Hill, 1953.

-   The world will be saved by one or two people.

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  1. Voyage au Congo (1927) (producer)